The installation went fast, the updates, on the other hand did not. Rewind a bit, back to a few weeks ago. Some troll over at Digg was spamming links to shock sites. One of them causes thousands of popups of shock images to display. It also happens to take advantage of some security flaws in many web browsers. That was last week, but going back a bit further the real odd behavior began.
It began with Adobe Flash security warnings. They were triggered by advertisements (flash based advertisements should be illegal for more than one reason) that are part of the Microsoft Mojave campaign. The warning stated that code in the flash object attempted to redirect about:blank to some other address. One would think a large corporation such as Microsoft would keep its advertisements out of the realm of malice, but then again they are still spamming stats with fake arrivals from their live search service.
Even though the Flash warning was odd, it was not the thing that was really bad. Out of nowhere no execute bit errors start killing Firefox. Most of the time on a website with an Adobe Flash based advertisement. Did I mention I believe Flash based advertisements should be outlawed–and all websites that have them should be added to the malware harboring website lists?
Well, after having enough of the stupid NX bit errors, Firefox and Flash player were reinstalled. No luck, the problems still occurred. Time for drastic measures, reinstall Vista time. After backing up the few files not on my home server (running Gentoo Linux), the Vista DVD made its way into the DVD drive. After rebooting and clicking through some options, the installer did its thing. Fifteen minutes later–surprisingly fast–the familiar welcome screen appeared. First order of action was installing the WiFi driver. Rather than before I let the additional intel tools to be installed. Surprisingly, I’m connecting at 802.11N speeds all the time now (verses when ever Windows felt like it before). Next up was the graphics driver. Previously, the dell driver did not allow the one distributed by intel to be installed so I was running a year old driver.
Then Windows Update in its infinite wisdom decided to try grabbing over 30 updates. Naturally, there was no dependency handling causing numerous blue screens of death at boot. To compound the issue I had at one time tried to install about ten of my commonly used programs. After the first blue screen of death, and doing a system restore, they were all missing (System Restore shadows many more things than it used to). Instead of trying to reinstall the programs again, I focused on the Windows updates.
That is when things became fun. Not only does Windows Update not properly handle dependencies, it seems to always have problems installing more than twenty or so updates at a time. Even worse, it seems to generate error codes that are random when encountering this situation. Another fun fact is Windows Update seems to not check the hash sum of the updates it downloads until it attempts to install them. If the hashes at that time do not match it returns an error code instead of redownloading and trying again as it should. Installing only four or five updates at a time, along with the oldest first seems to help. However this is taking forever. If I wanted to spend two full evenings working on this I would have installed Gentoo, which I would be done installing by now as well.
[end of transmission, stay tuned]